Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted”
What comes to your mind when you think of mourning? To mourn or lament is to express passionate grief from the soul. How many of us have ever grieved so hard that we couldn’t speak, we couldn’t function, we couldn’t think straight? Our tears were like rivers overflowing, and we were inconsolable. Think of this as your soul mourning. But is there anything that we should mourn?
- We should mourn our sins because they have hurt others and grieved God
- We should mourn those who are out of relationship with God
- We should mourn the unrepentant
- We should mourn our poor spiritual condition
After our first beatitude “Blessed are the poor in spirit” where we admitted our need for God and denied self, we must now ask God to cleanse our souls of all unrighteousness. In Romans 8:26-27 “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning’s to deep for words; and He who searches the heart knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
In mourning, we allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us. It is in this grief process, that we allow God to take the hurt, sin and renew our poor spiritual condition, forgive us, and allow us to forgive others and at the same time, to restore our souls to what God intended us to be.
As we age, we naturally tend to become more jaded, hard-hearted, and less compassionate. We tend to have a “what-ever” attitude. It takes a lot for us to grieve others’ misfortunes. We tend to think; if only they made better choices, pulled up their bootstraps, worked a little harder…etc. We lose sight of the most telling attributes of Christ: His love and His compassion.
So this means mourning all those who may not be in the right spirit with God. So as not to sound judgmental, let me tell you about my grandfather. Many years ago, in my Baptist life, I must have brought the subject of Jesus up with my grandfather one too many times. Finally, he had had enough of the debates, and he informed me that he was an atheist and if he came from dust, then to the dust he’d go back. He had no desire to determine if there was a God or even if there was an afterlife. And then he told me that if I brought the subject up again, he would have nothing more to do with me. I was stunned. I was hurt. I was so very sad. My soul grieved for my grandfather’s soul, and I prayed for years that he would have a change of heart.
When we don’t truly grieve our poor souls and the poor souls of others, we are not emulating Christ. Jesus gave voice to the anguish in His soul. He grieved over Jerusalem, He grieved somewhat His imminent death, He grieved abandonment, and He grieved those who persecuted Him. He was in prayer with the Father always for Himself and for others. Receive the blessing of being comforted by having God who cleanses our souls of all unrighteousness and who grieves the souls of others.
One of the most comforting verses I know comes from Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken”.